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Old 02-26-2021, 02:13 PM #1
Monoman2345 Monoman2345 is offline
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Another new buyer question thread

Hey all!

Some recent changes in my life and a new job have opened up some opportunities, one being that I need a car, and you guys know the only option is a V8 4Runner. I am already going to test drive two tomorrow, so I could be a proud new owner by as soon as tomorrow.

I have been scouring this forum for about 6th months trying to learn everything I can, but I definitely didn't think I would be purchasing one this soon.

I am curious, what should I be looking for tomorrow that is 4Runner specific, that should scare me away from buying? I know to ask if the timing belt, water pump and a few other things have been replaced (all I am looking at are between 130-170k miles) and to also check for frame rust, but what else should I look for or ask about? One dealer already tried to tell me the V8's are chain driven, not belt, so I know I'll be in for a time there.

I also tried to use this site I've seen linked around the forum, but looks like I can't get access without owning a Toyota. Welcome to Toyota Owners

Any or all suggestions heavily appreciated, and I am excited to join the gang!
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Old 02-26-2021, 04:05 PM #2
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Check the liftgate for rust
- if 4wd, make sure 4 lo engages
- see if they have differential change maintenance
- See if the suspension have been replaced
- If Limited/ JBL check the speakers

- good luck
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Old 02-26-2021, 07:14 PM #3
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Originally Posted by Monoman2345 View Post
Hey all!

Some recent changes in my life and a new job have opened up some opportunities, one being that I need a car, and you guys know the only option is a V8 4Runner. I am already going to test drive two tomorrow, so I could be a proud new owner by as soon as tomorrow.

I have been scouring this forum for about 6th months trying to learn everything I can, but I definitely didn't think I would be purchasing one this soon.

I am curious, what should I be looking for tomorrow that is 4Runner specific, that should scare me away from buying? I know to ask if the timing belt, water pump and a few other things have been replaced (all I am looking at are between 130-170k miles) and to also check for frame rust, but what else should I look for or ask about? One dealer already tried to tell me the V8's are chain driven, not belt, so I know I'll be in for a time there.

I also tried to use this site I've seen linked around the forum, but looks like I can't get access without owning a Toyota. Welcome to Toyota Owners

Any or all suggestions heavily appreciated, and I am excited to join the gang!
You don't have to own a Toyota to register at Toyota Owner's website, and all you need is a Vin Number to check any info that maybe on there, I got the Vin Numbers for each Toyota I have looked at from the owners/dealers and checked them out on there before buying, unless something has changed on there in the last few years.

For the most part any service history, etc. on there is only from Toyota dealers and only IF they filed that info with Toyota Corporate, you won't find any service history from private companies.

You also can find owners manuals other general documents etc. without registering or logging in.
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Last edited by AuSeeker; 02-26-2021 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 02-27-2021, 01:05 PM #4
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Originally Posted by AuSeeker View Post
You don't have to own a Toyota to register at Toyota Owner's website, and all you need is a Vin Number to check any info that maybe on there, I got the Vin Numbers for each Toyota I have looked at from the owners/dealers and checked them out on there before buying, unless something has changed on there in the last few years.

For the most part any service history, etc. on there is only from Toyota dealers and only IF they filed that info with Toyota Corporate, you won't find any service history from private companies.

You also can find owners manuals other general documents etc. without registering or logging in.
You're totally right, I should've tried the site first as well. Looks like both I am looking at have pretty extensive maintenance records from stealerships from 0-130k on the odometer. Just the newest 20k miles appear to be a mystery.

And looks like neither specifically state the timing belt has been replaced, oof
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Old 02-27-2021, 02:13 PM #5
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If you test drive a full time 4x4 one, make sure the center differential lock works. Lack of use can cause the actuator to seize up.

It's pricey to replace the actuator

Don't put up with any BS explanations if it doesn't work. Make them fix it on their dime or walk.
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Old 02-27-2021, 04:48 PM #6
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Originally Posted by Monoman2345 View Post
You're totally right, I should've tried the site first as well. Looks like both I am looking at have pretty extensive maintenance records from stealerships from 0-130k on the odometer. Just the newest 20k miles appear to be a mystery.

And looks like neither specifically state the timing belt has been replaced, oof

If they had an Indy shop do it there might not be a record so check under the hood. Should be a sticker somewhere saying at what mileage it was changed if it was. Usually on the timing cover or on the fan shroud. Might be a good way to negotiate the price if it wasnít done. If theyíll knock off $1k towards that Iíd say thatís fair.

Only other real no goís would be if all 4x4 modes donít engage (lights will blink and not turn solid) or if frame is a rust bucket. Everything else is serviceable in my opinion, like fluid changes and suspension upgrades, brakes etc


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Old 02-27-2021, 06:13 PM #7
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If they had an Indy shop do it there might not be a record so check under the hood. Should be a sticker somewhere saying at what mileage it was changed if it was. Usually on the timing cover or on the fan shroud. Might be a good way to negotiate the price if it wasnít done. If theyíll knock off $1k towards that Iíd say thatís fair.

Only other real no goís would be if all 4x4 modes donít engage (lights will blink and not turn solid) or if frame is a rust bucket. Everything else is serviceable in my opinion, like fluid changes and suspension upgrades, brakes etc


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Another weird place to look for the timing belt sticker in on the bottom side of the hood, the only reason I say this is because I couldn't find any history of mine being replaced before or after I bought it, so I was planning on doing it ASAP just for peace of mind...but one day I was checking the oil and other fluids and just happened to look up at the under side of the hood and there was the sticker, not sure why the mechanic put it there in such a place that it may never be seen but I was very happy to find it!!
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Old 02-27-2021, 06:51 PM #8
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Another weird place to look for the timing belt sticker in on the bottom side of the hood, the only reason I say this is because I couldn't find any history of mine being replaced before or after I bought it, so I was planning on doing it ASAP just for peace of mind...but one day I was checking the oil and other fluids and just happened to look up at the under side of the hood and there was the sticker, not sure why the mechanic put it there in such a place that it may never be seen but I was very happy to find it!!

Yes exactly have a good look around. Glad you got lucky!


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Old 03-02-2021, 05:07 PM #9
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Related question

I posted this in a different thread but the question is more appropriate here:

What is higher importance: miles or age? I am eying two 4th gen 4runners. One is a 2003 with 160,000 miles. The other is a 2009 with 256,000. Both are the same price (at a dealer).

Do the year-to-year improvements from 2003 to 2009 make up for the extra 100,000 miles? Or do you always figure less miles is less wear and tear?

Is there any advice in checking the tranny? That’s one thing that worries me, if I needed to replace it sometime soon.

I should add that my current 4runner is a ‘99 manual with 275,000 miles and am considering replacing it with one of these, or getting one of these and keeping the ‘99 as a backup.

Last edited by Langcow1; 03-02-2021 at 05:09 PM. Reason: Added info
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Old 03-02-2021, 05:44 PM #10
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I think in general itís vehicle to vehicle - thatís pretty far apart in both years and mileage

If they both appear the same in terms of frame, interior, maintenance - Iíd probably look at the 09. The late 05+ Have less transmission and head gasket issues
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Old 03-02-2021, 07:15 PM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Langcow1 View Post
What is higher importance: miles or age? I am eying two 4th gen 4runners. One is a 2003 with 160,000 miles. The other is a 2009 with 256,000. Both are the same price (at a dealer).

Do the year-to-year improvements from 2003 to 2009 make up for the extra 100,000 miles? Or do you always figure less miles is less wear and tear?
A good question as I am in the same boat, I'm looking at a few that are 03-05 low miles vs 06-09 higher miles.

The one I checked last weekend fell through the second I saw it, extreme clear coat peal and it was a smokers car. Going to check another local 03 this weekend, other than that it's the few out of states I'm already talking to dealers about.. but they're looking way better on the spec sheet, just not excited to ship it or fly and drive
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Old 03-02-2021, 07:55 PM #12
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Hey here is a 2004 V8
2004 Toyota 4Runner LIMITED 4WD * 87,000 ORIGINAL LOW MILEAGE * -...
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Old 03-03-2021, 03:48 PM #13
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Kind of insane how expensive the 4th gens resale for.
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Old 03-03-2021, 05:35 PM #14
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Kind of insane how expensive the 4th gens resale for.
Yeah it really is. The one above me is too much, I'm looking for 15k max, so that mostly leaves a ton that are 110-160k miles for 12k range.
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Old 03-03-2021, 05:40 PM #15
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Quote:
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A good question as I am in the same boat, I'm looking at a few that are 03-05 low miles vs 06-09 higher miles.

The one I checked last weekend fell through the second I saw it, extreme clear coat peal and it was a smokers car. Going to check another local 03 this weekend, other than that it's the few out of states I'm already talking to dealers about.. but they're looking way better on the spec sheet, just not excited to ship it or fly and drive
My advice is to not worry about miles so much but more about the vehicle having a service record/carfax. Anything under 200k with a service record would be legit for me.
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